How to Ensure You Have A Great Vacation Home Rental Experience

Filed under: Business |

On October 5, 2008, an article titled “Skirting the Pitfalls of Private Rentals” appeared in the Travel section of the New York Times. The article (click here to read it) focused on just one family’s bad experience renting directly from the owner of a vacation home in Puerto Rico. It went on to suggest that this family’s vacation nightmare might have been avoided if only they had chosen a “professionally managed rental” that offered a “certain level of quality control.” The reporter added that “no such quality control exists with owner-rented properties found on certain web sites such as

And to a large extent this is true IMO. I have rented homes all over Europe, the Caribbean and the US and I have had some problems. I have experienced lousy management and owners who only wanted my $$$. But today I’m wiser or am I? 

Just this year my family rented a home from a UK based owner in Barbados and the hot water wasn’t working when we arrived…it still wasn’t working properly when we left 10 days later! Perhaps I should add that the repair man only came on day 8 but I just put it down to the typical Caribbean way and that I was lucky to have water! The question now is…will I stay there again? In truth…probably not.

Yes, we enjoyed the property on the whole, we enjoyed some great family time and we enjoyed everything Barbados has to offer but the experience was a little tarnished by the apathy shown to us and the lessons learned from it have only helped our own company Florida Leisure Vacation Homes to be stronger.

Ever since day one in this business (over 15 years now) Florida Leisure has been built on one simple foundation; Ensuring that we pay attention to the customer and the customers needs. As a result we have approaching 3,000 regular guests who rent our properties because we do pay attention and when a problem happens we are there…. pronto! The Barbados experience reinforced what we have always believed; good businesses are built on attention to detail and making sure we fulfill the needs of our guests. It’s really that simple. And that’s where renting from an owner can fall down.

The fact is, the owner isn’t there. He or she isn’t able to quickly fulfill my needs or solve a problem if and as when it occurs. Instead he relies on a manager or a managing agent and the simple fact is, that person rarely has the same incentive to look after you the way you should be looked after.

So, what to do? Well, when I am going away to stay in a vacation home elsewhere in the world, I now tend to look for professional management companies and owners that are with professional management companies who are’t frugal with maintaining their property. I want to make sure my vacation is the best it can be and in order to do that, I need to know that when I have an issue it’s going to get resolved quickly. This just can’t be done by an owner miles away and the only time I’ll book with one directly nowadays is when I’m sure they have a competant and professional management company who pays attention to detail and who can fulfill my needs. And to do this I need to check them out.

Checking them out is so important and it means looking at their web site and seeing if they have videos, photo’s and customer testimonials. An example of which can be seen here. It also means contacting them to see what type of service they give me on the telephone…and if they fall down here…I run… fast. After all, if they can’t get the basics done properly…what chance does my vacation stand when a problem occurs?

So renting a home does have it’s issues but when you consider the advantages over staying in a hotel then it’s well worth a little time making sure you get it right.

The fact is, vacation home rentals represent a travel experience that is among the best available and among the most economical. When you reserve a vacation rental, you’re booking an entire home. Complete with kitchen (no need to eat every meal at a restaurant), washer/dryer, maybe a hot tub or a swimming pool, possibly a wide-screen TV and DVD collection, free wireless Internet, maybe a game room, and lots of other amenities. You’ll often have nearly six times the square footage of the typical 330-square-foot hotel room at as little as half the price.

Spend a little time doing your research and you’ll find a great home. And of course, when you’re in Orlando… look no further than here!

2 Responses to How to Ensure You Have A Great Vacation Home Rental Experience

  1. I’ve heard some goody things about this blog. The content has really been useful a great balance of text and pictures.

    Matt Golfcovers
    October 13, 2008 at 1:36 pm

  2. It is hard to find good informative blog like yours I have some free pictures you might be able to use for your blogs. Let me know.

    King Richards
    October 17, 2008 at 9:57 am

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